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Publication numberUS2903420 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateSep 8, 1959
Filing dateOct 4, 1956
Priority dateOct 4, 1956
Publication numberUS 2903420 A, US 2903420A, US-A-2903420, US2903420 A, US2903420A
InventorsLeonard Wilki John
Original AssigneeSocony Mobil Oil Co Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Compact mass surface level control
US 2903420 A
Abstract  available in
Images(2)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Sept. 8, 1959 WlLKl 2,903,420

COMPACT MAss SURFACE LEVEL CONTROL Filed Oct. 4, 195a 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 EAL 6/75 //V CONTROL (145 //v 15 RIF/l6 741V 7 IN P/mm/crour 10 Q I 22 l INVENTPR Jfllm Z. 11/17 soups our BY Sept. 8, 1959 J. L. WlLKl 2,903,420

COMPACT MASS SURFACE LEVEL CONTROL Filed Oct. 4, 1956 2 SheetsSh'eet 2 CONTROL 6 /75 //v INVENTOR Jalm Z. 7727/1?! ATTORNEY a {j 1 Un H Patez-ftedse t. 8, 1959 vi ontr'oliof :be'daheight, do: solatzthesacrificeofi some other ,aprocessavaldable. "These'priorart systems maybe roughly .7 K grouped intoMWmclasses: (:1) ithose whichrmeasurezthe 3 bed height :and rsadjustisolidsririlet or OlitlGfLflOW- rate; to CGMPACTMASS SURFACEtLEVEL LCONTROL 5 maintain. constantheight'; (2):. 'thosewwhich automatically H maintain theth'e'i'ght.

-I e w my;= -r s q y Typical ofrsthenformer. :class isz-therprior art process Mobil fi pa yr s -9 P of New which involves measuring bed'rheightvby measuring the 1: 3 u t I 195959 L 0 pressure dropmfi a gasifiowing npvvardly;through.part.of Apphcatwn ober Hal 0 10-'-th'e:bed =and then adjustmgz the'inoommg y 9:Claims. (Clams-i167) .xjmfing'zthei pressure of a gast stream which-'isiorcingthe solids into the reactor to maintain the bedaheightconstant. Thediit1cr1lty with-this'type of system is that it requires expensive automatic controllers;-andin one par- This inventiomdeals with a method andrappalatus l5-ticnlar case-it requires flov'ving argaseous streamin a dicontacting of fluids and granularsolids whereinzthegrana Arecflyyoppositefdirecfliongw;that: 1,. fl sular solids exist as a downwardly-moving,= substantially through the compact bed. compact. bed. It is particularlyconcernedwith a method An n l r f thessecondmtype f ti i the 'and apparatusfonfeeding the solidsto such a bedso as ltpmcessiwhich ag arpofs the onta t; i p i 4 toautomaticallymaintain thebcd 'at a-constantheight plied directlylw-ithe rf oflthabed as a plurality f wand afford the opportunity of contactingall of the-'incomcamp-act treamsiwhjleaithermemainder' i h wered down 1.11% Solids with fluid reactant'as pp onto the bed surface. The conta'ct-materialin the shower 4116 "=is sprayed:withtheincoming reactant. While-this opera- -Typical of theprocesses: to which this invention-applies i f i he -w ry i i q ontfolxofnthe b duh i h is thecatalytic cracking-of hydrocarbons in'which agran- {he cont'actLmateriial in' the compactijstream usedtashthe ular solid catalyst is movedthrough a'reaction zone as ,t m r dogs k i i i l; a -wi h i i li a substantially compact bed of solids.v -A hydrocarbon: re-

il t dt i h y: f a;difi' t temperature, n .n actant, which maybe gaseous liquid or a mixture omhe -activity level:=tharr the remainderof' thematerial when pp PP 0f saldi'bedandfpassed L it reaches thebed. This Will cause-diifering' degrees of downwardly -therethrough to eflect therdesired convert i depending-upon Whether h reactanpflows sion. Used"catalytic matenial is removed fronmhes lower portigng ofvthe e t -y li =from h or endaof the bed and passed to a regeneration zone'wherein tfromsthe rwmpact streams. it'is reconditionedforTe'use imthereactionzone- The "-invention desc ribed herein combines the*-best-fea- L-Other processes-in which this-inventionwill be useful gture lofs'bothofttheseiiclassessofPriors-art roperationstin iincludethecatalyticreforming;hydrocracki'ng isomerizac ai l id t i i i m i s p t vtionandihalike of'fiuid hydrocarbons utiliZing a moving reheight without expensivednstruments to adjust flow rate wmasswf granular Catalyst The inventioniwin also find and withont ditferences'in treatment 'of incoming-contact application: in conversionprocesses utilizing-moving massmaterial ulti f mlthe height=c0mroL es'of inert solids 'such- -as ieoking 'and' in'processes'forlthe A j o j f thi vg ti hi m; provide m h d continuoustreatment ofiliquidzhydrocarbons by meansof wa arat l.f Supplying granular,contactrmaterial solidfidsorbants' "to a movingamass--thereot--Which@overcomes the above The particularssolid .used :will" dCPIldlllPOlT'. the reacri xi j i tion desired: inevery'caset F0r1eXamP1inthe lytic Another objector this invention is to provide a method cracking of' hydrocarbons syntheticassociations ofsilica, .anduapparatusrfof s-upplying;contacti l to d aluminai and' magnesia: and com'binationst'thereof -have l moving th fiwhi h a i height found favor. Certain metals and metallic oxides-have f;th b t ti ll L t at times beenadded toithese' materials to' impa p *Arrothen-objetof this invention istoprovide a method "Propertiesioihem 1116M Solids Oftelltake1th"f0fm"0f -and-apparatus for the-concurrentcontactingof fluids with refractorymaterials,rstonesymefallic particles and partiiad rdl i b t figll -icompact -mass f oles of cokex Inv liquidhydrocarhon: percolation forflcolor .1 n 1 oli bfis' b ta tiall constantaheight,

improvementrmatfifiials' most q y used are fulkrs Another-*object 'of this 'invention-is'to'provide amethod baux'itefind thei like- -and' apparatu's for the uniform contacting of 'fluid' hydro- Contact material usefulwithrthis invention'must be lcanbonsaandgranular Contact materiali i -.granular,-that is, itzimustbe of palpable particulateform si s y a size withinr'the'range 1 inch M 5 mesh "These and other objects-"of theinventionwill-be"more y Tyler standard screenfanalysis- The/contact material readily-understood=by referring-to thedescription of--the may be of any desired'.shape;reither regular or'irregular. mi i m i j h i b l PI'ViS usual, 'illgllmcessesdikefileilafofememioned, t0 "Broadly! this"inventiom-providesafor mairitaining the 'maintain'therbed' surfflce b W' PP of -upper"surface of a" 'substantially-compactjidownwardly housing confining The'space ve the bedis then -rnovingmass ofgran'ular contact'material at a substantial- Ilsed for-Withdrawing PP Y dP 0F *ly eonstant-level-within' an enclosedhousing. A' compact fi is highlllimpoftants hOWBVGIPlEhaFtheolids aecurriulation of' fresheontact'*material' is- "maintained .mass or bed' be maintained ata reasonably 'constant ab ve the mass-withina cdnfinedfeeding zone. Fresh heightwithin the-housing. 1 Obviously, the amount-of -contact-niaterial-is supplied toithe accumulation-and is -contact1ng which-"the fluid reactant receives is directly .removed from n e at least one related to thGGiStHHCB-Whltlh it-travelsthrough theconl1 narrow, onfined; flifonhly-spacedstrea n comactnja, tact mat rial If t fid g @R'f n Will "terial is discharged fromthisstreamand"showered down be Over-contacted,- alldlf IS'IOOJOW; lt'wlll er- *ontcr-the snrfaceof the mass. A controlgas issuppli'ed contacted! The P art'cont'aills a Variety bf .gg at a constant rateto the' accutriulation'andat least part tions for-control'1ing=thisbed-height. Someof'these are flows with 's aid'-solidsthroiigli the"co'nfinedstream and only-partially successful; others, while eflectinggood "downwardly-into themass v'v'hilethe remainder flows;up-

wardly through the solids. No gaseous material is removed from the housing above the level of the mass, so that control gas must flow through the mass. It is removed from the lower section thereof. If the upper surface of the mass drops below the prescribed level, the resistance to flow of the mass will obviously be lower and control gas flow through the confined stream will increase, causing an increase in solids flow through the stream until the mass surface is restored to its normal level. If, on the other hand, the mass rises substantially above its normal level, the increased pressure drop will cause a decrease in the control gas flow through the confined stream and a resultant decrease in contact material flow through the stream until a normal bed height is resumed.

This invention will be better understood by referring to the attached drawings, of which:

Figure 1 is an elevational view, partially in section, of a hydrocarbon conversion reactor employing one form of this invention; and

Figure 2 is an-elevational view, partially in section, of the upper end of a hydrocarbon conversion reactor employing a second form of this invention.

Both of these drawings are diagrammatic in form and like parts in both bear like numerals.

Turning first to Figure 1, there is shown there an enclosed reaction vessel which, throughout its lower section, acts as a conversion zone employing a compact bed or mass of contact material 11 with upper surface located at 12. A seal leg 32 extends downwardly into vessel 10 and discharges solids into open-topped receptacle 31. A feeding chamber 13 is located above mass surface 12. Conduit 14 is within the upper section of vessel 10 and extends vertically downwardly to terminate within the upper section of feeding chamber 13. The upper end of conduit 14 connects into the bottom of open-topped receptacle 31. The lower end of feeding chamber 13 is formed by a perforated partition 15 equipped with uniformly spaced orifices 16. Extending outwardly and downwardly from a level adjacent partition 15 are solid confining members 30.

In operation, granular contact material, at a temperature suitable to effect the desired conversion, enters vessel 10 through seal leg 32 and is discharged into opentopped receptacle 31. Seal leg 32 is supplied with an inert seal gas, such as steam or flue gas, adjacent its lower end at a pressure slightly in excess of the pressure in reactor 10 through conduit 33. Most of this seal gas flows upwardly through seal leg 32 but some will flow downwardly and discharge from the open upper surface of the contact material accumulation in receptacle 31. Contact material gravitates downwardly into feeding zone 13 through conduit 14. Within feeding zone 13 there is maintained a substantially compact accumulation of fresh contact material 17. A control gas is supplied to zone 13 through passageway 18 at a fixed rate. This gas is preferably inert to the granular solids used in the system. Suitable control gases include steam, flue gas and even light hydrocarbons. A part of the control gas flows downwardly through accumulation 17 and forces solids through orifices 16, while the remainder flows upwardly through passage 14 and is discharged through the top of receptacle 31. The solids drop as a freely falling shower onto surface 12 of mass 11. While falling the solids are confined by members 16, which extend to a level below the upper surface 12 of bed 11. Reactant is supplied through passage 19 and with the control gas flows into mass 11 and downwardly therethrough. Gas which has passed out of the open upper end of receptacle 31, flows around the outer edges of member 16 and through bed 11. The reactant is contacted or converted as desired and all products are removed through passage 20. Suitable product collection means well known to the art may be associated with conduit 20 to effect removal of all of the gaseous material. Used contact material flows shower of catalyst to effect liquid-solids mixture.

4 downwardly and is purged free of associated hydrocarbons by means of a gas, such as steam, admitted through conduit 21. The used solids are then removed from the lower end of vessel 10 through conduit 22.

It will be noted that the only place at which gaseous material is removed is through conduit 20 at the lower end of reaction vessel 10 and mass 11. Thus, all fluid material must flow downwardly through mass 11.

The part of the control gas which flows upwardly through passage 14 will flow through a path of constant flow resistance independent of the surface level 12 so long as that level is above the lower ends of members 16. On the other hand, the portion of the control gas which flows downwardly through orifices 16 is subjected to a resistance to flow which varies directly with the height of mass surface 12, where the level of product withdrawal is not varied. Therefore, when the level of surface 12 drops the fraction of the constant volume of control gas which flows downwardly through orifices 16 must increase because of the lowered flow resistance of that path. This increase in gas flow will cause an increase solids flow through orifices 16 and will raise the surface level 12. When the surface 12 goes above its prescribed level the converse situation obtains and solids flow through orifices 16 decreases until the normal height is re-established.

Turning now to Figure 2, the use of this invention in a hydrocarbon conversion process employing a hydrocarbon charge at least partially in the liquid phase, is shown. This invention not only effectively controls the bed height in this operation, but makes it possible to contact all of the incoming solids with the liquid reactant as they are supplied to the mass, something which was not possible in the prior art system employing a falling In the system of Figure 2 the solids enter the reaction vessel 10 through a seal leg 32 and are discharged into receptacle 31, from which they flow through conduit 14 into feeding zone 13, which is substantially less in cross-sectional area than mass 11. Attached to the lower end of feeding zone 13 is a funnel-shaped member 22. As the solids drop through orifices 16 they flow through the funnel-shaped member onto the surface 12 of bed 11. A reactant inlet conduit 23 passes into vessel 10 and its lower section is located concentrically within the spout of funnel member 22. Conduit 23 is of substantially less cross-section than the spout 34 of member 22, so that an annular space 24 is formed between the two. A baffle member 25 is provided immediately beneath the discharge end of conduit 23.

The apparatus of Figure 2 operates to maintain the bed surface 12 at constant level in the same manner as that of Figure 1. In Figure 2, however, all of the solids which are supplied to mass 12 must flow through annular space 24-. The liquid hydrocarbon charge discharged from conduit 23 strikes baflle 25 and is deflected laterally into a showering contact material. This liquid will intimately mix with the contact material, and since it contacts all of the material passing to the bed, the temperature and relative activity of the contact material across the bed should be the same throughout.

Orifices 16 should be of a size suitable to flow granular solids without plugging and yet small enough that the control gas will affect the solids flow, thereby maintaining the desired bed height. diameters within the size range 1.25 inches to 12 inches are satisfactory for use with solids of a size within the range 4 to 20 mesh by Tyler standard screen analysis. It is also possible to use one or more slots which preferably are annular in shape rather than circular orifices. Such slots should have hydraulic radii within the range 1 inch to 4 inches for 4 to 20 mesh material.

The number and size orifices to be used in any particular installation will vary, depending on the flow rate of solids desired, the bed height used, the control gas pressure and the control gas rate. In principle, the ori- Generally, for circular orifices,

fices should be designed to flow only a fraction of the required solids flow when there is no control gas flow One design made sized these-orifices to -flow-seventy-five percent of'th'edesign fl'ow rate when there wasno-control gas flow. It is contemplated th'at'the solids flow without control-gas may be as little as fifty percent ofthedesi'gn flow rate.

Selection ofthe control gas ratefor any givensystent is also determinable by routine eXperiment-at-ibni The lower the hydraulic radii of the orifices or slots usedthe more sensitive to changes in-"bd heightthe' catalyst 'flow through the orifices will be: However, there is no sharp decline in sensitivity as the hydraulic radii-areincreased.

This invention applies whether the reactantisg'aseous or liquid.- Likewise', the control fluidmay beeither a gas or a'liquid; Of course, where the reactant' flows through the solids bed'as a li'quid, it is better to use'a liquid control fluid and wherethe reactant passes throughthe bed as a gas, a gaseousfiuid is preferred.

The proper design of confining 'members '30 is'very important to this invention; Thebed"level-1'Z-=must never drop below the lower ends of these'memb'ers or the control gas will not operateto maintain the*bed height There must always be cont-actbetween mernbers -lh and the-bed surface, and there must be a space between members 16 and the walls of reactor 10"for gas flow. Members 16 should slope at angles greaterthan the angle of repose ofthe contactmaterial. Most cont-act materials have an angle of repose of aboutiifi degreese The control fluidshould preferably be a fluidwhich is inert to the particular solid being used. Steam may readily be used in gaseous systems. Also, flue gasand light hydrocarbons may be desirable here. In liquid systems, a liquid hydrocarbon may act as'controlfluidi In a less preferred form of this invention thecontrolgas'may be introduced at constantpressure rather than constant rate. This technique, however, requires more elaborate instrumentation than the use ofa constant rate system. The operation with constant pressure'is substantially the same as described in connect-ion with Figure 1, with the variations incontrol gas flow through-orifices 16 resulting from the variation in gas flow to maintain the constant pressures.

The apparatus of this invention includesa variety of shapes in addition to the circular shapesdescribed; Forexample, the reactor vessel and associated parts may' be rectangular or hexagonal as may-annular'space24-E The term annular is usedhereinbroadly' to referto-the space between two objects placed one within the other, whether they are of circular or other shape and whether both objects are the same shape or-not-L Example In one design according to this invention'the' reactor vessel was 16 feet in diameter and designed generally along the lines shownin FigureZ. Feeding chamber'13 was 5 feet in diameter and 5 feet high from'the levelof partition 15. Funnel 2 2was also 5' feet high and'had a" spout made of 24 inch pipe; R'eactant pipe 23wasa' 1O inch'pipe. Partition was equipped with 1-47 uniformly spaced orifices, each 2 inches in diameter. This'unit wa's designed as a catalytic crackingreactorto process'1 5,000

barrels per day of a mixedphase chargeat a catalyst do not'constitute departures from the'spiri't and scopeof" the invention.

I claim:

1 A method for automaticallymaintaining substan tiallyconstant'the surface level of" a, downwardly gravitating; substantially" compact bed-'- of granular solids, which comprises: maintaining a"'downward-lygravitating; substantially compact bed of granular' solids withina confinedcontacting zone; maintaining a downwardly moving, substantially compact mass" of granular solids within a confined feedingzone above said" bed; continuously supplying granular solids to the upperend ofsaid bedg continuously= removing granular solids; fromthe lower end of said mass as aplurality of confined streams which ter-minateabov'e' the-"upper" surface of said-*bedj discharging granular solids-onto the -upper surface ofsaid bed asafrely fall'ing sh'ower ofsolids said shower'com taining" all of the contact material-to-be supplied to the upper surface of" said bedj maintaining gas'impervious surfaces l entirely around said shower and extending said surfaces downwardly toa level below the upper surface of said bedg" supplying a control 'fiuid at" constant rate to said feedingzone and p'a'ssin'g a'first partofsaidfluid downwardly through said m-ass and through saidstreams into said contactingzone; s'ai:d"cont-rol fluid acting to 'increase the contact material flbw" in said streams beyond the flow 'rate which-'would' be achieved 'underthe influence Of graVity alone; passing a second part of said control fluid around said" streams" and' into' said bed beneath the lower edges of said-surfaces; supplyinga fluid reactant-to said contacting zone; flowingsaid reactant fluid and sub stant-ially all of said-control fluid downwardly through saidbed; 'maintainingthe portionof said contactingzone abovesaid mass fluid tight so that no-fi'uid material is removed-therefrom and' rer'novingfluid material from the lo'wer'sect'ion of said zone.

25 The process ofclaim 1", wherein the feedingzone' is located"withinthehousing-at a level" above the' upp'er surface of the downwardly'movingbed of 'granular solids, the-feeding zone being of sub'stantiallyless lateral di' mensions than the bfed-I 3; a process" for theconversion' of fluidhydrocarbons wherein the hydrocarbons are passed downwardly through adownwardly moving; substantially compact bed" of granular" contact material maintained within" a confined conversion zone, the'method' for automatically maintaining the bedofco'ntact'material ata substantiallyc'on'stant'height', which-comprises: maintaining a substantially compact accumulation of contact material in aconfined feeding zone situated above the upper surface of said mass; supplyingfresh contact material to'theupp'er surface of said accumulation; removing a plurality of narrow, uniformly spaced streams" of" contact material from the lower end'of said accumulation; said streams being laterally confined from the level ofthe lower end ofsaid accumulation to a levelabovesaid-mass, thenum-- ber and' size of said streams'b'eing insufficient to supply under the influence of gravity alone all'of the contact' supplying" hydrocarbon charge," at least partially inthe vapor phase, toth'e' upper surface of Saidbd and pass ing' saidcharge' downwardly through thebed; supplying a control gas at-a constant volumetric rate to said accumulationand flowinga first-partof said gas through said confined streams of contact material, said gas causing" the flow-rate in-said' streams to exceed the flow rate which would exist under the influence of gravity alone" to amount suifficient -to-maintain saidupper surface at a con stan't level; fiowing a second part of said control gas.

7 around said streams and into said bed below the lower edges of said solid surfaces; removing gaseous material from said conversion zone only at the lower section thereof, whereby the contact material flow in said streams will be increased or decreased as the upper surface of said bed rises and falls and will thereby maintain said upper surface within a narrow range of levels.

4. A process for the conversion of fluid hydrocarbon charge by means of a downwardly moving, substantially compact bed of granular contact material, which comprises: maintaining said bed of contact material within the lower section of a confined conversion zone; maintaining a substantially compact accumulation of contact material of less horizontal cross-sectional area than said bed within a confined feeding zone situated above the upper surface of said bed; passing a stream of fresh contact material into said feeding zone and onto the upper surface of said accumulation; removing contact material from the lower section of said accumulation as a plurality of uniformly spaced, laterally confined streams of hydraulic radii within the range 1 inch to 4 inches, and discharging the contact material from said streams and dropping it onto the upper surface of said bed as a freely falling shower of contact material particles; maintaining the number and size of said laterally confined streams in- .suflicient under the influence of gravity alone to supply the contact material needed to maintain the upper surface of said bed substantially constant; maintaining solid surfaces around said shower which slope at angles greater than the angle of repose and which extend downwardly to a level below the surface of the bed; spraying a fluid hydrocarbon charge into this shower and passing said charge at least partially in the vapor phase into the upper surface of said bed; passing a control gas at constant rate into said feeding zone and flowing a first part thereof through said accumulation and said plurality of streams of contact material, thereby forcing contact material through said streams at a rate sufficient to maintain the surface level of said bed substantially constant; flowing the remainder of said control fluid around said streams and into said bed below the lower ends of said surfaces; flowing all fluid material which enters said conversion zone downwardly through said bed and removing fluid material from said conversion zone only at the lower section thereof, whereby said fluid hydrocarbon will be converted and said bed will remain at a substantially constant height.

5. A reactor suitable for the conversion of fluid hydrocarbons by means of a granular solid contact material, which comprises in combination: an enclosed reaction chamber, an enclosed open-topped feeding chamber of less lateral dimensions than said reaction chamber situated within the upper section of said reaction chamber; a solid supply conduit extending into the upper section of said feeding chamber and terminating therein on a downwardly facing open discharge end; a perforated partition extending laterally across said feeding chamber in its lower section, and perforations in said partition having hydraulic radii Within the range 1 inch to 4 inches; members defining a passageway from the underside of said feeding chamber beneath said partition to the portion of the reaction chamber therebelow; means for supplying a control gas to said feeding chamber above said partition and below the open upper end of said feeding chamber; means for supplying hydrocarbon charge to the upper section of said reaction chamber and means for removing gaseous material only from the lower section of said reaction chamber.

6. An apparatus for the conversion of fluid hydrocarbons, at least partially in the liquid phase, into gaseous products, which comprises in combination: an enclosed reaction chamber; an enclosed open-topped feeding chamber situated within the upper section of said reaction chamber; means for supplying fresh granular contact material to said feeding chamber; a perforated partition extending laterally across the lower end of said feeding chamber having perforations of hydraulic radii within the range 1 inch to 4 inches; means for supplying at constant rate a control gas to said feeding chamber at a level intermediate its upper and lower ends; a funnel-shaped member attached by its upper end to the lower end of said feeding chamber and adapted to catch all contact material dropping from said perforations; a reactant feed conduit of less size than the spout of said funnel-shaped member extending into said reaction chamber and downwardly concentrically with the spout of said funnel so as to define an annular space between the outside of said conduit and the inside of said spout, said conduit terminating adjacent the lower end of said spout; a baffle member positioned beneath said conduit so as to deflect liquid reactant which issues therefrom laterally into contact material which has dropped from said perforations and through said annular space into the portion of the reaction chamber therebelow; means for removing gaseous material from the lower section of said chamber only and means for removing granular contact material from the lower section of said chamber.

7. An apparatus for the conversion of fluid hydrocarbons, which comprises in combination: an enclosed reaction chamber; an open-topped receptacle within the upper section of said chamber; means for supplying contact material to said receptacle; an enclosed feeding chamber beneath said receptacle; members defining a passageway for solids flow from said receptacle to said feeding chamber; means for supplying a control fluid to the upper section of said feeding chamber; a perforated partition extending horizontally across the lower end of said feeding chamber; solid confining members extending downwardly from said feeding chamber and terminating within the upper section of said reaction chamber with lower ends spaced away from the walls of the reaction chamber; and means for removing products of conversion from the lower section of the reactor.

8. A method for automatically maintaining substantially constant within an enclosed housing the surface level of a downwardly gravitating, substantially compact column of granular contact material from the lower end of which contact material is constantly being withdrawn, which comprises: maintaining a substantially compact accumulation of contact material within a confined feeding zone located above the upper surface of said column; passing all of the contact material to be supplied to the upper surface of said column from the lower end of said accumulation as a plurality of narrow confined streams and discharging the contact material from said streams above said column and showering said contact material as a freely falling shower downwardly onto the upper surface of said column; supplying a control gas to said accumulation above the inlets of said streams at a pressure such that a portion of said gas flows through said streams with said contact material and assists in forcing contact material downwardly in said streams, withdrawing said control gas from said column at an unvarying level in its lower section; maintaining the conditions of supply of said control gas such that the quantity of gas flowing through said streams varies with variation in the pressure drop between said streams and the level of gas withdrawal, whereby said flow of control gas through said streams will increase as the surface level of said column falls, thereby increasing contact material flow to said surface through said streams while said control gas flow through said streams will decrease as said column surface level increases, thereby decreasing contact material flow to said surface through said streams, whereby said control gas acts to maintain said column surface level substantially constant.

9. A method for maintaining substantially constant the surface level of a downwardly gravitating, substantially compact column of granular contact material within an enclosed housing, wherein contact material is continuously withdrawn from the lower section of said column, which comprises: maintaining within said housing above the upper surface of said bed a laterally confined, elongated, substantially compact accumulation of granular contact material of less horizontal cross-section than said housing and said column, so that a gas space surrounds said accumulation; maintaining the upper surface of said accumulation unconfined and in communication with said gas space; passing all of the contact material to be supplied to said column from the lower end of said accumulation through a plurality of narrow streams and discharging contact material from said streams above the upper surface of said column so that contact material particles shower downwardly onto said surface, the number and size of said streams being such that under the influence of gravity alone contact material would not flow through said streams in an amount equal to that withdrawn from the lower section of said column; injecting a control gas at a constant rate into said accumulation at an intermediate level, said rate being such that a portion of said gas flows upwardly through said accumulation and out of the open upper surface into said gas space while the remainder flows downwardly through said accumulation and said streams resulting in the contact material flow rate in said streams approximating the rate of withdrawal of contact material from said column; enclosing said falling shower of particles by means of gas impervious surfaces out of communication with the gas space to which said control gas issuing from the upper surface of said accumulation flows, said gas impervious surfaces extending downwardly to a level below the upper surface of said bed and laterally less than completely across said bed to said housing and withdrawing all of said control gas at an unvaiying level in the lower section of said column, whereby as the column surface falls control gas flow through said streams increases, thereby increasing solids flow through said streams to said column surface, while as said column surface rises control gas flow through said streams decreases, thereby decreasing contact material fiow through said streams to said surface, whereby said contact material flow to said surface is automatically adjusted to maintain said upper surface of said mass substantially constant.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,558,769 McKinney July 3, 1951 2,574,503 Simpson Nov. 13, 1951 2,574,850 Utterback et a1. Nov. 13, 1951 2,683,109 Norris July 6, 1954 2,704,739 Bland Mar. 22, 1955 2,732,331 Wesh J an. 24, 1956 2,737,294 McClure Mar. 6, 1956 2,770,583 Haddad Nov. 13, 1956 2,799,625 Drew July 16, 1957

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2558769 *Jan 2, 1948Jul 3, 1951Houdry Process CorpProcess for control of hydrocarbon reactions in moving solids contacting systems
US2574503 *Feb 12, 1946Nov 13, 1951Socony Vacuum Oil Co IncMethod and apparatus for hydrocarbon conversion
US2574850 *Jan 2, 1947Nov 13, 1951Socony Vacuum Oil Co IncMethod and apparatus for hydrocarbon conversion
US2683109 *Aug 11, 1950Jul 6, 1954Houdry Process CorpMethods and apparatus for contacting liquid with granular contact material
US2704739 *Nov 29, 1950Mar 22, 1955Houdry Process CorporationProcess and apparatus for catalyst
US2732331 *Aug 2, 1951Jan 24, 1956 Liquid hydrocarbon conversion method and apparatus
US2737294 *Dec 11, 1951Mar 6, 1956Sun Oil CoSurface level control in a compact solids bed
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3120485 *Jan 18, 1961Feb 4, 1964Air Prod & ChemMethod and apparatus for contacting liquid with granular contact material
US4188283 *Jun 8, 1978Feb 12, 1980Uop Inc.Startup method for a moving-bed hydrogenation zone
US4576712 *Dec 26, 1984Mar 18, 1986Uop Inc.Regenerating catalyst
Classifications
U.S. Classification208/167, 422/216, 208/165
International ClassificationB01J8/08, B01J8/00, B01J8/12
Cooperative ClassificationB01J8/001, B01J8/12
European ClassificationB01J8/00D, B01J8/12